You’re obviously a valued employee. You have a pulse on your market and bring value to the workplace. Your work ethic and productivity has perhaps raised a company’s profile, profit and reputation. Upper management, whether at your current or new company, has noticed your achievements and attitude, and you’ve accepted their managerial offer.
After you’ve taken time to celebrate and bask in your deserving accomplishment, the time has come for you to start managing. Here are four key tips on how to merge successfully into your new manager role.
1. Learn what is important
You may have been with a company for a significant amount of time before receiving your managerial role. You may have walked through the same front doors each morning for years. But now, with your new leadership role, the atmosphere and outlook of your environment will shift.
Understand and adapt to those changes. Remember where you came from and at the same time take ownership of your new responsibilities. These are subtle perspectives, but can make a world of difference when tangible, work-related matters are at the forefront.
This may sound obvious, but do take the time to meet and understand the staff members who will be working with you. Set up informal meetings with individuals or groups to set a friendly precedent about the relationship as you head forward. It may not be necessary to know what each employee’s favorite color is, or what elementary school they went to, but getting a feel for personalities and communication styles will be beneficial.
2. Stay consistent and open
In business, you are going to have hits and misses. Even Thomas Edison miss-stepped—a lot: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
For every manager, some plans will be wildly successful either as individual projects or on a wider scale as templates for future ones. Other projects, as much as you and your team planned on them being beneficial, may not hit your targets.
Through the ups and even downs, it’s vital to be consistent in your delegation, openness to innovation and creativity, and enthusiasm of staff ideas. Do not shut down or turn your shoulder to an idea or staff member, even if there may have been a miss in the past. Lessons from each miss take you that much closer to success.
3. Trust and honesty
Consistency generates trust. As you stay open mined to ideas, suggestions, and processes that staff suggests, you must work to understand the larger vision of upper management’s goals. If there is a match between staff ideas and upper management objectives, work with them.
For example, Thomas Edison invented a perfectly efficient voting machine for the U.S. Congress. They rejected it outright because it shortened the back-room deals that were so important to their process.
Even as a manager with an open mind, you must set an early and honest tone about what is expected from those you lead. Be forthright with your staff if an idea, project plan, or productivity is not hitting the target. You don’t have to command, but also don’t waiver in your leadership role and authority. Let staff know why they’re with the company, what assets are valuable, and reinforce the quality of work that you know they’re capable of producing.
4. Attention to detail
And now it’s time for the meat and potatoes of your managerial role. Attention to detail is one of the most often overlooked but vital elements to success. Being ultra attentive, combing over each project report with a fine tooth comb is essential, particularly to the senior managers who have entrusted you to make sure the details are ironed out and align to company strategy.
Attention to detail may not get you front page, cover story glamour, but it’s an essential habit to develop. And, from a “black-and-white, on-paper” perspective, it defines a major portion of your value. Pass this importance of attention to detail down to your staff; let it resonate with them, reminding them how important each finite detail of their work means to the company as a whole.
Don’t get lazy and pass the buck. If you find yourself overloaded, utilize the talented people around you as a way to double check final project details.
BTW: Don’t forget to enjoy your new role!